January 28, Saturday

REPOSTToday’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on May 2, 2015.

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“The Graveyard Next to the Palace”

1 Cor. 6:18 (NIV)

Flee from sexual immorality.

2 Sam. 1:1-2 (ESV)

Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. [2] Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. 

Perhaps, David was as self-assured on this night as was Peter on the night when he declared, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will” (Matt. 26:33).  David had confessed something similar to God: “My steps have held to your path; my feet have not slipped” (Ps. 17:5).  Despite their bravado, both fell spectacularly in ways they had never imagined.  Peter, bearing a sword, was prepared to battle any men who dared to take his master; when they did, he used it without hesitation (Jn. 18:10).  But when a servant girl called him out as “one of them” (Lk. 22:58), Peter was so unprepared—he even denied ever knowing Christ.

Ever since David killed the gigantic Goliath with his sling shot, he had always been an excellent soldier (1 Sam. 18:7).   On this night, he should have been out with his men to defend Israel, for that’s what kings do in the spring time; and David was always prepared for it.  But instead, walking on the roof of the palace in the middle of evening, he was so unprepared to deal with what was looking squarely in the eye:  not the Ammonites, which he could handle, but the lust of the flesh, which, once it was that up-close, David couldn’t evade. 

The graveyard next to the “palace” is full of bones belonging to powerful men who fell from the top because, while they knew how to win battles fought outside, they were clueless facing the ones fought inside.  David Petraeus, a retired four-star general and director of CIA, had power like none other; and yet he was powerless to overcome his lust for his official biographer.  Having resigned in disgrace, he now faces a possible criminal investigation.  Eliot Spitzer, as the state attorney general, knew how to put bad guys in jail, and later as the 54th governor of New York wielded great power; but he lost everything because he wouldn’t  rein in his lust of the flesh.  

When it comes to fighting lust, God’s counsel borders on “cowardice”: “Flee the evil desires of youth” (2 Tim. 2:22), says Paul to Timothy, a young pastor.  That is, “keep to a path far from [an adulteress], do not go near the door of her house” (Prov. 5:8).   If you’re too tempted to click to adult sites, then, consider blocking them as you would do for your children.   Don’t take this lightly because “a man who commits adultery . . . destroys himself.  Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away” (6:32).

Prayer: Lord, help me to take this matter seriously; empower me to take proper steps to reduce as many temptations as I can in my daily life.  Ultimately, may I always be mindful of the Holy Spirit so that I will follow his leading toward holiness and purity.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Nehemiah 3-4